Pentagon’s Missile defence review (MDR) 2019 has said United States has discussed “potential missile defense cooperation” with India. The MDR 2019 said the discussion are part of “natural outgrowth” of India’s status as a Major Defense Partner and “key element of our Indo-Pacific Strategy”.
The talks between Washington and New Delhi happen even as “number of states in South Asia are developing an advanced and diverse range of ballistic and cruise missile capabilities”, according to the review.
“Within this context, the United States has discussed potential missile defense cooperation with India. This is a natural outgrowth of India’s status as a Major Defense Partner and key element of our Indo-Pacific Strategy,” said the Pentagon report on Thursday.
The 108 page document talks about Washington’s alliance in the Indo Pacific region and said cornerstone of “our security and diplomacy in Indo-Pacific region is our strong bilateral alliances with Japan, South Korea, and Australia, “and emerging security relationships with others such as India.”
“We will deepen our strategic partnership with India and support its leadership role in Indian Ocean security and throughout the broader region,” said the 2017 National Security Strategy of the US, which has been mentioned in the Pentagon report.
In 2018, US granted India Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1) & both New Delhi & Washington signed Comcasa (Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement). India is the only south asian country to get STA1 and 3rd Asian country after Japan and South Korea.
The previous Obama administration was not very forthcoming in sharing its advance missile defense system with India, following which New Delhi went ahead to procure it from Russia.
As part of its Indo-Pacific strategy, the Trump administration now seems to be more than inclined to let India procure its missile defense system with talks between the two countries having already started.